A CGI Tekken movie with some semblance of a coherent plot? Maybe, but that’s not what you’d want to watch it for. Surprisingly, it turned out much better than I initially expected. Worry not, this isn’t the tournament re-created for the big screen (which would have been extremely dull IMO). This review is based on the 2D version of the movie.
Tekken: Blood Vengeance supposedly takes place during the transition from Tekken 5 to Tekken 6 (wait there’s a 6?!), and stars the game’s characters Alisa Bosconovitch and Ling Xiaoyu with her bodyguard, Panda.
The show does keep things tight with the focus mainly on the lead actresses, with the much of the game’s diverse cast of characters limited to cameo appearances or removed from the movie altogether. It centers on the Mishima family of Kazuya and Jin, father and son each heading a military cooperation who cannot see eye-to-eye. Both are after Shin, who possesses a trait of interest.
To cut things short without spoiling further, both sides send a representative, and you see some fighting, then more fighting, and some sort of closure to the movie that’ll lead to the start of Tekken 6.
If you’re familiar to Tekken’s CG cutscenes found in the game, you’ll feel right at home with Blood Vengeance – you could say that they’re virtually identical. The character designs are attractive and attention is given to making the environment beautifully detailed.
It sounds… just like a fighting game would. Which works for the show, with all the crunch of blows exchanged and the destruction of the surroundings getting the appropriate booms. The background music, though not frequently used, is appropriate for the scenes.
It’s a spin-off of the series, so if I were to grade the plot solely it’ll warrant a fail grade, because the story really is pretty bland. It builds up quite decently in the beginning then just nosedives into a convoluted mess at the end with what feels like a hasty conclusion. However, like similar shows (think Advent Children), what the typical audience wants would be a good adaptation of the source material, upon which it delivers. The fight scenes are fluid and fast-paced and the characters’ moves are also well-placed such that series veterans will likely squeal at the sight of a jet-boosted kick.
Tekken: Blood Vengeance does have a few shortcomings, but it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the movie – perhaps even more so if the 3D version could bring you into the heart of the action. Newcomers to the series probably would not understand most of what’s going on though – this coming from someone unfamiliar with the Tekken universe (the last I touched the series was its first PSP incarnation). I’m somewhat worried about the ‘live action’ adaptation, but Blood Vengeance is worth the watch – especially if you’re a fan of the fighting game.